“Yesses” are how we make deposits into children’s trust banks. Here are some wise words recounted by a student at Texas Christian University.
Recently in class, my professor said, “When parents say ‘no’ to one of their child’s requests, it’s usually out convenience.”
It’s not convenient to give 4 snacks in one sitting. Or to buy a treat they probably won’t eat. Or to go to the park for 30 minutes when you know they’ll whine 15 minutes in.
But those yesses are so important. And it fills up the trust bank, bit by bit. It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it.
I made a quick guide to when to say no. If the answer requires you justifying yourself, you’re likely saying “no” out of convenience.
1. Does this keep us from sticking together? If so, a, “No” may be called for.
2. Does this hurt someone physically or relationally? Of course, you can’t say, “Yes” to these.
3. Does this promote fun? You may not be in the mood to have their fun, but it may be a point of connection if you say, “Yes.”
4. Am I allowing them autonomy? Even if it makes you cringe, say, “Yes.”
5. Am I allowing them to negotiate their needs? You guessed it, “Yes.”
6. Am I denying them the opportunity to give care? You may normally hire a 4-year-old hair stylist, but saying, “Yes,” allows her to care for you in her own way.
7. Am I denying them the opportunity to receive care? One more push on the swing is another opportunity for them to receive care from you.